Governmental Affairs New
Voters agree Gov. Snyder earned four more years
Few experts imagined the governor’s race would be among the earlier calls of the night, but news outlets began projecting Republican Gov. Rick Snyder the winner just one hour after the polls closed. Gov. Snyder earned 51% of the vote compared to Mark Schauer’s 47% and posted a strong performance in Oakland and Macomb counties.
Atty. Gen. Schuette, other statewide officials cruise to victory
As expected, Republican Attorney General Bill Schuette cruised to victory last night, defeating challenger Mark Totten 52-44%. Republican Secretary of State Ruth Johnson also had an easy victory. Republicans continue to hold a 5-2 majority of the Michigan Supreme Court. Voters re-elected Republican Justice David Viviano to a partial, 4-year term and Republican Justice Brian Zahra to an 8-year term. Democrat Richard Bernstein won the other 8-year justice spot.
Congressional results go as expected
Election night saw no real surprises in Michigan’s federal races. U.S. Rep. Gary Peters, a Democrat, handily defeated former Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land 55-41% to take the open seat caused by the retirement of Sen. Carl Levin. But Peters will find himself in the minority, as Republicans nationally picked up seven seats, one more than necessary to take back the Senate, with the possibility of adding two more seats still undecided.
In the U.S. House, Republicans held on to all eight seats they currently hold in Michigan. Former state Senate Majority Leader Mike Bishop will succeed Mike Rogers in Michigan’s 8th District, Senator John Moolenaar will take over for Dave Camp in the 4th District and Republican businessman David Trott won Kerry Bentivolio’s 11th District seat despite the current rep’s write-in campaign after losing the primary. The closest race was in Northern Michigan and the Upper Peninsula for Dr. Dan Benishek’s seat in the 1st District. Benishek defeated his challenger 52-45%. Rep. Tim Walberg was successful in defeating former Michigan Rep. Pam Byrnes, 55-39% in the 7th District.
After serving 30 terms, Democrat John Dingell chose to retire and will be replaced by his wife, Debbie Dingell in the 12th District. Southfield Mayor Brenda Lawrence easily won the Democratic 14th District seat vacated by Gary Peters.
Retailers pick up strong champions in Michigan Senate
Amidst a one-seat gain in the current Republican 26-seat super-majority, the Michigan Senate added three strong champions of the retail industry last night. Rep. Jim Stamas (R-Midland) handily won the seat Sen. John Moolenaar vacated to run for Congress. Rep. Wayne Schmidt (R-Traverse City), former House Commerce Committee chair and a former retailer was elected to the open seat in Northern Michigan with 61% of the vote. In the latest call of the night, Rep. Margaret O’Brien (R-Portage) was elected to the hotly contested 20th District race by just 60 votes.
Returning senators and senators-elect will choose the majority leader for the 2015-2016 term tomorrow. Sen. Arlan Meekhof (R-West Olive) is the anticipated winner to lead the 27-member caucus. Republicans will hold a 27-11 majority next year, the largest percentage a majority has held in the chamber since the 1953-1954 term. All 28 of our Friends of Retail were successful in Michigan Senate races. Retailers hold a super majority of Friends of Retail in the Michigan Senate; 28 of the 38 senators.
House Republicans expand majority
While House Republicans were projected to maintain their current majority, it was not anticipated they would gain four seats in highly competitive districts. Republicans expanded their 59-member majority to 63 members in 2015 with wins in the previously Democratic held 62nd district by Dr. John Bizon (R-Battle Creek) and by sweeping three seats they previously lost in 2012: Tom Barrett picked up the 71st District, Ed Canfield won in the 84th, and former Rep. Holly Hughes reclaimed her seat in the 91st District.
All current Republican members who were up for re-election yesterday will return in January, crushing attempts by Democrats in several competitive districts. Forty-five of our 49 Friends of Retail were victorious last night. We look forward to working with all 45 and to educating the rest on the retail issues facing Michigan.